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14 June, 2024
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Biden praises job growth, declares US economy 'strongest in the world'

US adds 353,000 jobs in January, defying economic downturn fears


President Joe Biden lauded the robust jobs report released on Friday, touting it as evidence of the United States possessing the world's strongest economy.

As reported by The Guardian, despite concerns of a slowdown, the U.S. job market demonstrated resilience, with employers adding 353,000 new jobs in January, according to the labor department.

This surge comes amid the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate hikes aimed at tempering economic growth and curbing inflation rates. Despite these measures, January's unemployment rate held steady at 3.7%, nearing a 50-year low.

Economists, who had anticipated the addition of fewer than 200,000 jobs, were pleasantly surprised by the revised numbers for December, which rose from an initial estimate of 216,000 to 333,000.

The buoyant job market offers a much-needed boost to President Biden, whose economic approval ratings have lagged behind despite the thriving employment landscape. The hiring spree extended across various sectors, including healthcare, government, professional services, business, and retail.

President Biden underscored the significant strides made since assuming office in January 2021, highlighting nearly 15 million jobs added to the economy.

In a statement from the White House, Biden expressed satisfaction with the continuous wage and employment growth, emphasizing his commitment to reducing expenses and fostering economic growth from the middle out and bottom up.

However, recent indicators suggest a potential weakening in the robust labor market. ADP, the largest payroll provider in the U.S., reported a modest increase of 107,000 new jobs in January, falling short of analysts' expectations and down from 158,000 in December.

Additionally, several prominent companies, including Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, PayPal, and UPS, have announced layoffs, signaling potential shifts in the job landscape.

Despite these challenges, the U.S. added 2.7 million jobs in the previous year, even as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates to a 22-year high.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the economy's resilience and the gradual decline in inflation rates, which dropped from over 9% in June 2022 to 3.4% in December. However, Powell cautioned that inflation remained elevated, with uncertainties surrounding its trajectory.

The latest jobs report amplifies pressure on the Federal Reserve to maintain current interest rates. Analysts suggest that market sentiments no longer anticipate rate cuts in the near term, reflecting confidence in the economy's stability.

As the U.S. navigates evolving economic landscapes, the job figures underscore the intricate balance between sustaining growth and mitigating inflationary pressures.

[With information sourced from The Guardian]

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